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|More from Webdog177||Adventure, Drama||PG-13||Here||Pending|
|The Comet's Arrival|
Genocide of the Air Nomads
August 22nd, 2013
|"When the Avatar died twelve years ago... it just meant that the Fire Lord was free to continue his occupations. He did... albeit slowly. Many people think he was just waiting for the right opportunity to launch a larger strike."|
|— Kaale Isan|
Doppelganger: The Hundred Year War
Genocide of the Air Nomads Saga
Even in shallow waters, the churning, groaning, and creaking sounds of the Lady of Fire sent waves of unease through General Kozlon. He never did like being aboard ships. If it wasn't the sounds that got to him, it was most assuredly the constant rocking of the ship that made him irritable. As a young soldier, all he could do was stomach it and perform his duty. Most of the time, his abhorrence of being on the water would be ignored by his superiors. This would usually result in the younger man becoming ill right there on the deck.
As he became older, the weakness to the sea never really faded. That was the biggest reason Kozlon had opted to stay away from the navy and stick with the army. Some operations, though, gave no other option than to put him right back where he hated. In the cold, loud, and crowded iron shell of a warship.
Still, standing on the bridge of the ship helped a little. There were less people to deal with in the larger, open-air room. Aside from the captain, who frequented the bridge, the only other people that were ever in the room were a few crewmen, General Oron, and Sukal.
Kozlon felt his forehead crease.
Sukal... Even after accepting the man in his detachment two weeks ago, he still had no idea who he was, or why he was even accompanying them. Sayuka, Fire Lord Sozin's adviser and commander in chief of the assault forces, had bade Kozlon and Oron to accept Sukal into the detachment. But, even after two weeks of his presence, the man had barely said a handful of words. He simply accepted orders from the general with a silent stare and a nod. And if that wasn't enough to set off an alarm in Kozlon's mind, then the fact that Sukal hadn't left him alone in those two weeks simply made things worse.
Of course, that had given his the opportunity to observe the younger man. And if there was one thing Kozlon excelled at, it was observation. For one, Sukal had definitely not been born in the Fire Nation. His darker complexion suggested the Water Tribe or Earth Kingdom. Kozlon felt himself leaning more towards the Southern Water Tribe, from the shades of grey in the man's eyes. After making that initial observation, Kozlon had considered bringing the subject up with General Oron. The idea, however, died in his mind when he decided it would be more prudent to see how things developed. Something about Sukal gave the general the idea that it would be better to wait.
"Kozlon!" He heard a voice coming from behind him. The familiar, deep voice of his friend and fellow soldier, General Oron. The older man entered the bridge and walked up to Kozlon, standing beside him. "The preparations for the assault are complete. The majority of the soldiers have disembarked and are standing by. The materials you requested are also ready. We await only the comet to begin the operation."
Kozlon looked out of the corner of his eyes towards Sukal, who was standing quietly in a corner of the bridge.
"If it will come at all..." he said, a muscle in his jaw clenching.
"Even after confirming it the archives, you still aren't convinced, are you?" Oron smiled, looking out of the opening in front of them. In front of the flagship, the Lady of Fire, was the dark silhouette of a mountain in the silent early morning darkness. A mountain that looked like any other. However, as everyone present knew, this was not just any mountain. At the top of the mountain was the Southern Air Temple.
In the Fire Nation, not many people know how large the mountain actually is. There is documentation of it, of course. But the actual height varies where it is documented. Now that he was here, though...
"Well..." He began. "If it doesn't come, we have a very long climb ahead of us." Oron chuckled. "I think Li and Aizo got the lucky end of the deal. At least they don't have to climb a mountain."
"Oh, yes. They just have to climb a sheer cliff." Kozlon shot back with a sardonic smile. "Unless they figure out how to go at it from above. Be that as it may, we definitely got the short stick."
"With you, my friend, I wouldn't have it any other way." Oron slapped Kozlon's back with a sharp smack. Even at eighty years old, the man still commanded great strength. "By the way..." He cleared his throat.
Kozlon eyed the older man, his eyebrow raised. "By the way...?"
"Are you sure you do not want to lead the assault on the temple?"
Kozlon returned his gaze to the mountain in front of him. "No. I am sure," he said stiffly. "If the comet will indeed make firebenders more powerful, then I do not belong there. I want you to lead the attack because you are one of the most powerful firebenders I know of. I cannot trust this task to just anybody. I know we will succeed if you lead our men."
Oron seemed to think about that for a moment. "But it was your plan. Your tactics," he said thoughtfully. "It seems... unbecoming of me to take credit for your work."
Kozlon sighed and turned to face his friend. "I am no firebender, Oron. I do not belong there. Besides..." He glanced at Sukal, still standing in the same spot in the corner. "I just cannot find it in me to acquiesce to this slaughter. I will not disobey my orders. But, it does not mean I have to be there." The two men were silent for a long while. Finally Oron heaved a great sigh.
"So, instead, you wish for me to dirty my hands in the name of the Fire Lord, is it?" He barked a laugh, a hollow, humorless laugh. "I don't blame you. It is indeed a dirty business. But we must do it nonetheless. If I were in your position, I must admit I would do the same and sit this one out." He turned around and leaned against the metal wall, facing Kozlon. "If I may ask, though... how did you come up with this idea to attack the temple?"
Kozlon returned the older man's gaze, smiled tightly. "Many hours of studying about the Air Nomads and their temples gave me ideas I needed to start on the puzzle. The information that came from the traitor gave me the other half to complete it."
"Ahh... the traitor. I heard about him, but didn't get any definite information." Oron nodded, his hand rubbing his cheek thoughtfully. "He was also from the Southern Air Temple, wasn't he?"
"He was. He gave vital information needed to know how to successfully navigate the mountain. The rest came to me from my previous studied of the bending arts." Oron raised an eyebrow. "You studied the bending arts? Even though you cannot firebend? What brought that on?"
Kozlon pursed his lips tightly. Many people asked him that before. But no one really ever appreciated his findings. "The fact that I could not firebend gave me much more time to devote to varied disciplines. You could call my education very eclectic. As part of my self-driven desire to learn a varied set of skills and knowledge, I naturally set time aside to study the different bending arts." He held up four fingers. "Firebending, waterbending, earthbending, and airbending."
Oron cocked his head to the side, interested in what the other man had learned. "And what did you find?"
"I learned that each bending style, while is spiritual in nature, and is reliant on different seasons of the year as well as the environment. Benders, by their very nature, follow patterns just like the environments and seasons. Because each bending style follows patterns, they can be predicted and beaten." Kozlon said all this quietly, as to avoid the few crewmen in the bridge from overhearing. If there was one thing he didn't need, it was someone taking his words the wrong way.
Oron, for his part, had an inkling as to what his comrade was saying. "By that you mean...?"
"I mean, every form of bending is flawed in some way." Kozlon said sternly, his back straight. "Additionally, there are other aspects of the bending styles I can theorize that have yet to be utilized."
"I can understand what you mean by being flawed..." Oron said slowly. "But what do you mean by other aspects?"
Kozlon thought for a long moment, casting a cautious glance around the bridge. Aside from him and Oron, a few crew members at their stations, and Sukal in his corner, no one was around to eavesdrop. "Keep in mind, this is only speculation on my part. I myself am not a bender, so I have no way of putting my theories into practice. However, what I mean to say is, from my research, there are aspects of the bending arts that have yet to be used." He held up a finger. "Take earthbending for example. What is earth?
Oron sighed and ran his hand through his white hair. "Earth is rock and minerals."
"Precisely. Rock and minerals. What say we take the minerals in the earth and process them into refined substances. What do we have then?"
"You are referring to smithing?" Oron clarified, narrowing his eyes. "Making materials, swords and tools, out of refined minerals found in the earth?"
Kozlon nodded. "I am. Look at this ship. In all its majesty and refined glory..." He emphasized sardonically. "It is but refined and processed earth, formed into this shape and function."
Oron frowned, apparently not liking where he was going with this. "Are you inferring that the earthbenders can... bend metal?"
"It is but a theory." Kozlon shook his head. "I do not believe they can. If the earth benders could bend metal, then we would have witnessed it. I am convinced, however, that they can bend the harder substances found in the earth. To what end, though, I know not."
"And the other elements?" Oron crossed his arms across his broad chest, clearly annoyed at Kozlon's theories, but interested nonetheless.
"I took some time looking at waterbending, as well. " Kozlon continued. "Did you know most of the world is made up of water? An interesting fact is that water can be found anywhere, even in places one never could think to look."
"Trees, flowers, the earth, the air..." He shot a glance at the older man. "The human body..." He felt Oron's shock beside him; his body language made it clear enough. "Did you know the human body is made up of mostly water? Interesting fact, is it not? I wonder if the waterbenders are aware of that..."
Oron was very quiet for a long minute. The two men stared out at the dark mountain in silence. Kozlon knew it was not a pleasant thought, but it was true nonetheless. He could only hope that Oron was smart enough to take it seriously.
"And what about fire?' He heard the older man say beside him. Kozlon thought for a moment. Fire had certainly taken him some time to theorize. He had studied it the most since he was young. Many people had warned him off the topic, since he could not even firebend. But he had taken their warnings as cause to pursue it even more fervently.
"What is fire?" He said quietly. "Fire is energy. Fire is power. What are other sources of energy and power?"
"Sources of energy and power... if you are speaking figuratively, I would think that other sources would be food and water... but that of course is ridiculous. Foodbenders... " He snorted a soft laugh. "The very idea... but no. What you are referring to is..." He narrowed his eyes to Kozlon. "Lightning... is it not? Lightning strikes and creates fire."
Kozlon nodded. "Yes. Lightning. Again, I have never put it into practice. It is only just a theory. But, again... perhaps it is possible."
"I see." Oron said, nodding slowly. "I myself have also never seen that. But since you put it that way, perhaps it is possible." The old man cracked a smile. "Lightning, huh? Maybe if this comet actually does come, we can put your theory into practice."
Kozlon smirked and shrugged. "I would prefer you practice in a non-combat situation... but whatever you wish." He suddenly became serious. "Keep what I said between us, my friend. Not everyone in the army appreciates my theories."
Oron put his hand on Kozlon's shoulder. "Of course. It is between us. Maybe we can discuss your theories in detail after the campaign."
Kozlon straightened and cleared his throat. "Yes. After the campaign..." he said. "I hear your son has graduated the academy along with my daughter. I hear he is a talented firebender. Will he join the army?"
Oron shrugged. "Probably. I will not press the issue. But Koron has always been a smart lad. I am sure whatever he will choose will be the best for him. What about your Aya?"
Kozlon chewed the inside of his cheek for a moment. It was true he spent a lot of time away from home, and now that he thought about it, he didn't really know what his daughter had planned to do after leaving the academy. She was a good firebender, as far as he heard. She would have a good career in the army. But, from what he could tell, she had never expressed much interest in the military. "I do not know..." he said with a heavy sigh. "I am afraid I do not know her goals. Quite a father I turned out to be, huh?"
"Don't say that, my friend." Oron smiled. "Aya knows you love her. Koron himself has told me on numerous occasions that she cares deeply for you. I am sure she will make you proud."
"That has never been one of my worries." Kozlon said softly.
He never got the chance to elaborate, as at the moment Sukal stepped towards the pair silently.
"The comet arrives," he said, his eyes scanning the dark sky outside the ship. Kozlon and Oron exchanged glances, and followed the younger man's gaze to the western horizon.
Slowly, but surely, there was a soft glow peeking over the top of the sea. The glow, at first glance, seemed to be the sun. But, Kozlon quickly discarded that thought as he reminded himself that the sun would rise on the other side of the mountain. The glow grew brighter as it took shape. He couldn't really tell what exactly it was; but it was painfully obvious. Part of him wanted the comet to be a figment of Sayuka and the Fire Lord's imagination. Part of him wanted to turn the fleet around and go back home. Part of him wanted to believe that none of what was about to pass had to happen.
He felt Oron inhale sharply beside him. His bearing seemed to grow hot and powerful all at once. He didn't even need to ask the older man. The comet had indeed brought power.
"We will commence the attack." Sukal said, casting his eyes over the two generals, his expression neutral.
Kozlon nodded and faced Oron. "General Oron. I trust you to lead the assault on the Southern Air Temple. Follow the plan, and the mountain will be ours well before the comet leaves."
"Don't worry, my friend." Oron said with a confident smile, his eyes reflecting all of the power he was assuredly feeling. "I will not fail the Fire Lord." He held out a hand to Kozlon.
He reached out and clasped the older man's hand. The pair stood there for a moment, silently. Then, Oron left the bridge. Kozlon looked outside into the soft orange light coming from the western sky. He heard Sukal step back to his corner silently, and felt himself scowl. It was a dirty business, this war. The sooner it was over and done with, the sooner he and Oron could return to their families.
Something in the back of his head tugged at his attention. He didn't quite know what it was. He didn't know why he felt something was odd. But, his sense was never wrong.
The war had started.
But, somewhere deep down, Kozlon knew the war would not end the way the Fire Lord nor Sayuka would expect.
He was running. Running through narrow streets and back alleys. Running as fast as his legs could carry him. What was he running from? The thought flew past his mind like a gust of wind on the sea. He didn't care who he was running from, he just knew he had to run. The light from the sky had all but disappeared, replaced by flickering firelight scattered across the walls surrounding him. With the fall of sunlight came the rise of shadows. Each new shadow that jumped out caused him to slash out with his sword. The shadows would let the blade pass right through them, and continue to glare at him as he ran further into the darkening city.
He felt his heart pound painfully as he stopped to catch his breath. Something about this seemed familiar to him, he thought, looking around. The surroundings... the feeling of being followed... the thrill of the chase...
The air around him shuddered as he realized it.
The chase... He was being chased. And he loved the thrill it brought him. He thrived on the feeling of being the hunted, rather than the hunter. And this particular hunter was more than willing to play the part.
The sound was the first thing he noticed. The air above him cracked with a sharp sound. Acting on pure reflex, he felt himself slide to the side as the ground he was just left exploded in a plume of dust and gravel. He rolled on the ground and righted himself in a flash. The hunter leapt from the roof of the building to another, causing the air to crack again. He jumped again, dodging the attack easily.
Drawing the sword from his waist, he felt his lips curl into a feral grin. He had missed this feeling; the feeling of being hated... the feeling of not knowing what moment was to be the last. There was nothing like it.
Nothing in the world.
Jumping out of the way of another attack, he planted his feel against the wall beside him, and pushed off. He grabbed the tough, stone awning of the squat building above him and, with a strong pull, vaulted onto the roof. He whirled around to face his hunter. The look of frustrated surprise on its face sent a shiver of excitement though him.
The hunter and the prey stared at each other for a long moment, waiting for the other to move. When they did, they moved at the same time. With another crack filling the air, the hunter leapt into the sky. He felt himself push off from the edge of the building, and flew directly at his opponent. As he connected with his adversary, his mind fogged and his vision grew dark. He knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that he was now waking up.
The first thing Kaale noticed, as his consciousness flooded up around him, was the wind. The cool, slightly damp air whistled around him, tickling his head through his short hair. Then he woke up enough to remember where he was when he had started his short rest.
His eyes snapped open in a flash. Out of reflex, he reached underneath him, feeling for solid ground, or anything that passed for solid ground. He felt the firm safety of the harness and breathed a sigh of relief. If anyone had ever asked him if he enjoyed careening through the air on the back of a gigantic animal, he would have said no. But, then again, no one ever asked him. Not to say the bison Iila wasn't a good animal... she was. There were just some things that could never change. For example... the fact that Kaale hated to fly.
The sky was dark and clear. Stars speckled the night sky sporadically, casting a soft illumination that went unnoticed next to the moon's cool blue light. Aside from a few grey wispy clouds above him, it was a crystal clear night. If he were a person who actually liked flying, he would say it was a perfect night for it.
But he wasn't.
So it wasn't.
Grunting uncomfortably, he straightened himself, stretching the muscles in his neck. He found himself idly wondering how long he had been resting. Judging from the pops that emanated from his neck, it must have been at least a few hours. When he dreamed, the time seemed to pass instantly.
When he dreamed...
He had dreamed again. It was not like he never dreamed; he did. But, what made him different from people he overheard talking about dreams, was that he always remembered everything he dreamed. Not only that, but he felt like he was fully aware while he was dreaming. He felt as though, if he willed it enough, he could command his body to move inside the dream. He never could, of course. But it was an unnerving feeling all the same.
It was especially distracting because every dream he ever had was from his memories. Many people dream about their past, their fears, and their desires. Not him. Every dream he ever had, he had experienced before. The most maddening part was the fact that every time he dreamt, he felt like he could change what had happened by trying hard enough. Some of the memories he relived were good. He didn't wish to try and change any of those.
But the horrible memories...
He suppressed a shudder looked around for his companion.
He didn't have to look far. Meiyun was seated at the front of the harness, grasping the soft leather Iila's reigns. She had craned her neck around to look at Kaale. Her blue airbending master tattoos shone brightly in the moonlight. For a moment, neither person said anything. Finally, Meiyun broke the silence.
"Good morning, Kaale," she said. "I was afraid you were going to sleep all night. We will get to the temple soon, I think."
Kaale slid up a respectable distance away from her, but close enough to hold a conversation. "My apologies. I did not mean to sleep so long," he said.
Meiyun shook her head. "It's alright. You looked like you needed it. And after I slept all day yesterday, I think you earned it."
Kaale nodded in agreement. The girl had, in the first night of their trip, fallen right into a deep sleep. At first, Kaale had been worried. But considering what had been pushed on the poor girl earlier, she probably was just exhausted. Kaale had let her sleep for the entire night, ignoring his distaste at flying Iila enough to point the large creature in the right direction and let her fly herself.
At dawn, Meiyun had awoken hungry. They landed for a while, using the opportunity to eat and let their bison rest. They spent the rest of the day flying in relative silence. It was the silence that surprised Kaale the most. Back at the Western Air Temple, Meiyun had expressed her frustration at what was happening by flinging her books all around the archives. He was sure the girl would be throwing questions at him left and right. But, to her credit, she was keeping quiet. Perhaps, Kaale thought, she was just thinking about the temple she had to leave behind.
The second night, Kaale had rested. He had only intended to take a short nap and wake up in an hour or so. What he hadn't intended to do was just the opposite. He had slept until almost dawn. Silently kicking himself for letting down any kind of guard, he shifted his glance to the young airbender beside him. He was sure this girl was just as big of a victim as anybody else. But as years of experience had taught him, he couldn't really lower his guard to just anybody.
"So..." Meiyun started, casting a wary glance at Kaale.
"So..." He replied in the same tone.
The two fell silent again, not really knowing where to go from there. Kaale had never really been a talker. But the girl deserved at least some answers. And unless he started it, she probably wasn't going to ask anything.
Taking a deep breath, he stroked Iila's head gently. "Yuanli did us a great service, giving us Iila," he said.
Meiyun blinked at him a few times, and nodded slowly, a shadow falling over her face. "Yes..." she said quietly.
"I was hesitant at first..." He continued. "Iila looks quite old and small... but she is still spry." He hastily added as a loud grunt came from below them. "We should be able to make it to the Southern-"
"Yuanli is special to you, isn't she?"
The question came out so quietly that, if Kaale hadn't actually seen the girl say it, he wouldn't have actually heard it clearly. Kaale stopped talking and stared back at the airbender for a long moment, and nodded.
"Yes. She and I are old friends. There are not a lot of people in this world I can trust. She is one of the few," he said somberly.
"I... see..." Meiyun said, looking back into the dark sky in front of her. "In that case... I think you two will meet again." She smiled. "She is lucky to have you." Kaale blinked a few times in confusion. Surely she didn't think that...
"Oh...." He drowned out and barked a short, loud laugh. "No, no, no. It is not like that," he said, shaking his head. "She and I... we have more of a parent-child relationship." He shrugged. "Nothing more." Meiyun stared straight ahead. Kaale couldn't be sure in the blue light from the moon, but he was sure she was blushing. He laughed again, softer this time. "But you are right," He said, after taking a deep breath. "We will meet again; just like you will meet your friends at the temple again. Do not worry, alright?"
Meiyun smiled softly and brushed a strand of dark hair that had gotten in her eyes. "I know. This has been a lot to think about, but I think it will work out." She peered at Kaale out of the corner of her eye. "It will, right?"
Kaale sighed softly and shook his head. "I hope so... This is just a surprise to me as it is to you. When Yuanli called for me, I had no idea why. I hadn't seen her in a very long time. I assumed she just wanted me to visit." He hadn't lied before; he really had intended to visit. He just didn't really have a good opportunity until he was called.
"So the news about the Avatar and the Fire Nation was new to you?" She asked.
"Yes. I knew that the Avatar is an airbender from the Southern Air Temple. But I do not know anything else. As for the Fire Nation..." He sighed and brushed his hand through his hair. "I had my suspicions. I think a lot of people did."
Meiyun turned her head to the side, confusion written all over her face. "What do you mean, a lot of people?"
"Well, a long time ago, the Fire Lord had occupied areas of the Earth Kingdom. When that happened, the then Avatar Roku interfered and stopped him. When the Avatar died twelve years ago... it just meant that the Fire Lord was free to continue his occupations. He did... albeit slowly. Many people think he was just waiting for the right opportunity to launch a larger strike." He folded his hands together tightly in thought. "I just did not think he would do something so grandiose as to attack three areas at once. There must be a reason he would be willing to split his forces like that."
"Maybe he is hoping we would also split our people between the temples, and make it easier for him to attack?"
Kaale shook his head. "No... that's not it..." he said.
The two fell silent for a few long minutes before Meiyun spoke again.
"Where are you from?" She asked. Kaale straightened and choked a laugh.
"Why do you wish to know?"
"If we are going to travel together. Wouldn't you rather know about the person you are travelling with? Come on, we can make in a trading game. I ask... you ask... and on it goes," she said, casting a playful glare at Kaale. "Besides... I think you owe me some questions and answers, yes?"
Oh, so that was how it was going to be. Well fine, he could definitely play it her way. Kaale smirked and held out his hands. "Very well. I am originally from the Earth Kingdom. You know how there are many island chains to the south of the main continent? I am from a small village along those islands."
Meiyun turned her head to look carefully at him. "You are an earthbender?"
Kaale stared right back at the girl. "I was born with no bending ability whatsoever," he said, willing his face to stay as neutral as possible. She cast her gaze back out into the dark sky.
"And you?" Kaale asked. "Where are you from?"
The airbender snorted softly. "The Western Air Temple, obviously. I was born there, travelled around the different temples during my training, and returned to live there." She smiled. "Alright. My turn again. You said you traveled around the different nations before. Have you met waterbenders? Earthbenders? Firebenders?" Her smile faded slightly as she said the last word.
"Yes. I lived for a time in the Earth Kingdom, and met quite a few Earthbenders. The same with the Northern Water Tribe, and the Fire Nation."
Meiyun's shoulders dropped slightly. "I never have. I only lived in the temples all my life. I don't know what other people are like..." She went silent for a few moments, and then shook her head. "Anyway... how old are you?"
Kaale felt his eyebrow rise by itself. "I thought it was a trade..." he said incredulously. The airbender seemed to shrink as she lowered her head, mumbling an apology. He waved his hand in front of him. "No matter, no matter. Ask away. I daresay you have earned your questions. I am twenty-two, by the way," he said.
The girl's frame filled out again as she straightened herself. "Oh... I see," she said. "I... have another question."
"Ask whatever you wish." Kaale said. He didn't mind the girl asking her questions. If it made her more comfortable, then he was willing to help.
"Why... did Sister Yuanli call for you? I mean, why did she tell you about the Avatar and the Fire Nation? Can you help us?" She asked, turning her face too look right into Kaale's eyes.
He looked back at her. She was young, and had a nervous air about her. She was scared. She was a girl who had never had anything like this threatening her before. He was sure that, even now, she didn't really believe it was going to happen. But he did. Yuanli had given him her explanation, and it was all he needed. He knew exactly why she had called for him. He knew exactly what he could do. He knew exactly what he had to do.
He also knew what was going to happen now that things were in motion.
But could he tell this girl?
Could she handle it?
"I do not know..." He simple said, shaking his head. "I will do what I can. I owe Yuanli that much. She helped me a lot, more than many people in my life. If I can help, then I will give my life to help. But... I do not know."
Meiyun cast her eyes back down to the sky passing below Iila. "I see..." she said, almost too softly for Kaale to hear. He opened his mouth to say something to her, but was interrupted when she straightened suddenly. "There is the temple." She pointed in front of her. Kaale looked where she pointed, and saw the peak of a mountain jutting up from the earth. "It is right at the top of that mountain."
The peak was easily visible in the growing light of the dawn sun. It glowed an orange hue that shimmered in the morning light. As they steadily flew towards it, Kaale sighed to himself. It was sights like this, the mountain glowing in the orange morning sun like a large gem in the earth that made flying bearable to him. He craned his neck to catch a glimpse of the rising sun.
What he saw made his blood run cold.
The sun was not rising.
The sun rose from the east...
The light he saw was coming from the west...
In the west, out of the horizon, a ball of fire was rising from the sea. The sphere rose seemingly from behind the water in the distance and slowly climbed the sky.
Kaale knew what it was at once.
"No..." He whispered. "It cannot be..." His whole body was numb in shock. He desperately ran through numbers and dates in his memory, trying to find out what the date was. He distantly heard Meiyun say something, but could not make it out. If it was what he thought it was...
He shook his head roughly. No... of course it was. It was the Great Comet. It had to be. Of course! That was the connection! That is why the Fire Lord was splitting his forces into three groups. He was going to use the power of the comet to-
"Kaale!" His thoughts were interrupted as he heard the airbender scream his name. She pointed to the mountain again. Kaale snapped his neck back towards the mountain-
And felt his stomach churn in fear.
The mountain was on fire.
The Fire Nation had made their move.
They had started their war.
To be continued in chapter 4...
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